PESHAWAR / SHABQADAR: Winter vacations for universities across the province have been extended till early January in view of the security situation following the brutal massacre at Army Public School in Peshawar.
The Elementary and Secondary Education department plans to decide on Monday (today) when government schools and colleges will reopen.
Earlier, on December 19, the provincial government had announced a schedule for this year’s winter holidays for all government and private educational institutes in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).
Usually winter break in public and private educational institutes across K-P is from December 25 to December 31. However, in view of the brutal massacre at Army Public School in Peshawar on December 16, education experts had asked the government to announce vacations earlier in order to give students and parents time to recover from the shock. As a result, the winter vacations of educational institutes had been scheduled from December 22 to 29.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, University of Peshawar Media Director Akhtar Amin said the university will reopen on January 1 rather than December 29.
According to an official at University of Agriculture, under its new schedule the university will reopen on January 2.
“However, since the date falls on a Friday, the university will reopen after the weekend on January 5,” he added.
The Elementary and Secondary Education department has not yet decided on an official date for government schools and colleges to reopen. An official of the elementary and secondary education department said the winter break is likely to be extended to January 15.
Against the tide
Private schools in Shabqadar tehsil of Charsadda have announced to open their school from Monday December 29. This was decided at a meeting of a private school association held at Shabqadar.
Aftab Khan Mohmand, president of the association, told The Express Tribune about 100 private schools in the tehsil were closed after the APS attack.
“Since annual examinations are approaching, the administration has decided to reopen schools,” he added.
According to Mohmand, they have also obtained the approval of the Private Schools Regulatory Authority to reopen schools.
Meanwhile, DEO Siraj Muhammad Khan maintained the decision is one-sided and arbitrary. “Private schools seem to be making decisions of their own accord,” he said. “I will request the DC to take strict action against them if the schools are opened before (the date given by the government).”
Published in The Express Tribune, December 29th, 2014.